Conky on root desktop doesn't show config file changes


I recently installed Crunchbang and want to change the color of Conky, which is installed by default and shows system status info on the desktop. However, changing the config settings doesn’t seem to make a difference, even when I manually restart conky.


I found two config files:



They have color settings. If I change the settings and run

$ conky

then a terminal-looking panel appears that DOES reflect my changes. I noticed that in order to refresh the desktop Conky, not this terminal-looking Conky, I have to do

$ sudo killall conky
$ sudo conky -q

Killing it makes Conky disappear off the desktop. Starting it again as root makes it reappear on the desktop. But none of changes I make to the config files show up in the “root desktop” Conky, only when I run it as a “subsystem” Conky.

Please help me understand what is going on, and what I am missing.

Asked By: paperduck


The default configuration file for conky is ~/.conkyrc. This follows classic *nix convention that wants configuration files to be hidden (dot files) in ~/.

If that file exists, it will be read when you launch conky and the files in /etc will be ignored as you have seen. You can override the default with the -c flag (at least in conky 1.9.0):

   -c | --config= FILE
          Config file to load instead of $HOME/.conkyrc
Answered By: terdon

The desktop, while it appears behind all the user’s windows, is not a "root desktop". It’s your desktop, the desktop of the user. conky opens in a terminal when you run it from a terminal. Using "sudo" doesn’t move it to the desktop. It runs conky as root user. But what you changed are the preferences for a simple user. Even if you changed the preferences in /etc. Preferences for the root user would be in /root.
On Linux Mint 19 (based on Ubuntu, like Crunchbang originally), running conky from the Alt+F2 launcher opens it on the desktop. Changes in /etc/conky are read correctly.

Answered By: lofi
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